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Philippines: Last batch of imported waste sent to South Korea

Christian Fernsby |
Environment groups renewed their call for foreign countries to recycle their own waste as the government shipped back the remaining 5,177 metric tons of mostly plastic trash back to South Korea.

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Placed in 60 container vans, the hazardous cargo was loaded onto an international ship that left the Mindanao Container Terminal sub port in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, the Philippines on Sunday, Jan. 19, for Pyeongtaek City in South Korea.

“The reshipment of the falsely declared wastes back to South Korea affirms our nation’s resolve to bring this dumping controversy to its just conclusion,” said district collector John Simon of the Bureau of Customs Region 10 (BOC-10).

“To stop this incident from happening again, I add my voice to the growing clamor to upgrade and strengthen our legal defense against waste dumping, including ratifying the Basel Ban Amendment,” Simon added.

“This dumping controversy and similar dumping incidents have reinforced the urgency of ratifying the Basel Ban Amendment and revising current regulations that permit waste imports into the country under the guise of recycling,” said Chinkie Peliño-Golle, executive director of Davao City-based Idis.

“We need to plug the regulatory loopholes that waste traders are taking advantage of, turning our country, particularly Mindanao, into a convenient dumping site for plastic, electronic and other hazardous wastes,” Peliño-Golle added.

“Such wastes should be recycled, treated or disposed of in the country where such wastes were generated, instead of being dumped in poor countries like the Philippines,” Aileen Lucero, EcoWaste Coalition national coordinator, said.

“While we pursue ecological solutions to our domestic garbage woes, we must tell South Korea and other countries to deal with their own wastes at home and stop exporting them to the Philippines and other Asian countries,” Lucero said.

Dr. Joe DiGangi of the Senior Science and Technical Advisory of the International Pollutants Elimination Network, also echoed the same concern.

“Korean waste should be managed in Korea and not dumped in the Philippines or anywhere else. This experience should nudge both countries to promptly ratify the Basel Ban Amendment,” DiGangi said.

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